Music PhD / MPhil

City, University of London
United Kingdom
Doctoral Degree (PhD)
Study mode
Full-time, Part-time
3 years
February September
Tuition fee (local)
Contact the university / college
Tuition fee (foreign)
USD 47,520

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Entry Requirements

  • Applicants should normally hold a Masters-level degree in music or an area cognate to their area of research.

English Language Requirements:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the¬†CNAA.
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the United States of America.
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
  • An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest.
  • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the board of studies concerned.


Initially students are registered for the MPhil degree. Transfer to PhD status occurs once good progress has been made on the initial stages of the research; this can take place at the end of the first year of full-time study, the second year of part-time study, or later. The work completed at the time of transfer contributes to the PhD.

The PhD will normally be completed after three years of full-time research (five years part-time), followed by a one-year period of 'writing-up' during which the final preparation of the thesis or portfolio takes place. Students intending to complete the MPhil only will normally carry out two years of full-time research (or three years part-time), plus the period of 'writing-up'.

As a general guideline MPhil theses do not normally exceed 60,000 words, and PhD theses do not normally exceed 90,000 words. Audio and visual media may form part of the submission.

In Composition, the MPhil portfolio will normally contain at least three, and the PhD at least five, substantial works, or negotiated equivalent, with a contextualising commentary. The portfolio is accompanied by a thesis, which will usually consider aesthetic and contextual issues related to the works but is not about them. Substantially fewer words are expected for composition-based theses.


  • Biography
  • Byzantine and Modern Greek art music
  • Choral music of the Slavic Orthodox churches
  • Church music
  • Critical Musicology
  • Feminist, gay and lesbian musicology
  • Gender and sexuality in Popular music
  • Gender representation in music
  • Historiography and canonicity
  • Historical performance practice
  • Music and literature
  • Music and society
  • Music for film, television and video games
  • Music in the Third Reich
  • Music in cultural history
  • Music in 19th-century Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Music in 20th-century Germany
  • Music videos
  • Nineteenth-century music
  • Plainchant
  • Pop-Rock music
  • Popular music studies
  • Reception history
  • Studies of musical performance, both live and recorded
  • The Frankfurt School, Theodor Adorno and Marxist aesthetics
  • Twentieth-century and contemporary music
  • Women composers


  • African-American music
  • Balkan traditions
  • Creative processes in music, with particular reference to the Middle East
  • Diaspora studies
  • Ethnicity, identity and music
  • Ethnomusicology of Western art music
  • European folk music traditions
  • Greek song
  • Japanese traditional music
  • Middle Eastern musics
  • Music and issues of globalisation
  • Music and the politics of cultural representation
  • Music in Middle Eastern cinema
  • Music, power and ideology
  • The study of musical instruments¬†
  • Urban Ethnomusicology


  • Instrumental and vocal composition
  • Composition for film, television and videogames
  • Studio composition
  • Analysis and aesthetics of composition

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